1. The Gap Instinct

Number 1 of 10 Rules of Thumb

Look for the Majority

Factfulness is . . . recognizing when a story talks about a gap, and remembering that this paints a picture of two separate groups, with a gap in between. The reality is often not polarized at all. Usually the majority is right there in the middle, where the gap is supposed to be.

To control the gap instinct, look for the majority.

• Beware comparisons of averages. If you could check the spreads you would probably find they overlap. There is probably no gap at all.

• Beware comparisons of extremes. In all groups, of countries or people, there are some at the top and some at the bottom. The difference is sometimes extremely unfair. But even then the majority is usually somewhere in between, right where the gap is supposed to be.

• The view from up here. Remember, looking down from above distorts the view. Everything else looks equally short, but it’s not.

 

Back to the list of 10 Factfulness rules of thumb

  1. Gap Instinct
  2. Negativity Instinct
  3. Single Instinct
  4. Fear Instinct
  5. Size Instinct
  6. Generalization Instinct
  7. Destiny Instinct
  8. Single Instinct
  9. Blame Instinct
  10. Urgency Instinct

 

To read our book Factfulness, go to the library or order your own copy here

 

 

 

 

***

This page is under construction. We are working on it (and a lot of other pages too). If you need this particular page urgently, you can always drop us a line, and we might be able to squeeze it to the top of our prio list…  Contact us at [email protected].


Date Posted: 2018-03-11